Lucius advanced towards Wentworth, who occupied the main seat, with an affable smile.

However, as Lucius approached, a wizard standing near Wentworth intervened, signaling for Lucius and Narcissa to surrender their wands. “Hand over your wands before you step further. I don’t want to take any unnecessary risk.”

Caught off guard by this unexpected request, Lucius hesitated momentarily. It was then that Wentworth, seated comfortably, intervened, uttering, “No, let them come here.”

In response to Wentworth’s directive, the wizard of the Alliance stepped aside, allowing Lucius and Narcissa to proceed cautiously. Seated before Wentworth, they were motioned to take their seats.

As they settled into their chairs, Wentworth addressed them, “I apologize for intruding upon Malfoy Manor in such a manner. However, given the nature of my identity, I aim to avoid any inconvenience for the Malfoy family. I trust, Mr. Lucius Malfoy, that you can appreciate the necessity.”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s words, Lucius waved his hand in a gesture of welcome and said in a somewhat affected manner, “Certainly not! Your presence is a great honor for the Malfoy family!”

Wentworth, appreciating the diplomatic exchange, smiled graciously. Without dwelling on pleasantries, he proceeded to the purpose of his visit, stating, “I have come with a specific request. I seek the assistance of the Malfoy family.”

Momentarily taken aback, Lucius felt his wife Narcissa discreetly nudging his foot under the table. Reacting swiftly, Lucius maintained his composure and responded with a friendly smile, “It is a privilege for me and the entire Malfoy family to be of service. Pray, how may I be of assistance to you?”

Narcissa could be seen smiling from cheek to cheek all the time, trying to ensure the conversation between the young lord of the Grindelwald family and the current patriarch of the Malfoy family to start a great relationship for their son’s sake.

They would be surprised knowing that Draco is actually already inside their inner circle of Alliance, especially in Hogwarts.

Satisfied with Lucius’s response, Wentworth turned his attention to Cassandra, beckoning her forward.

With a few steps, she stood before Lucius and Narcissa. Wentworth then introduced her, saying, “Allow me to introduce Miss Cassandra Vole. Her father is Thomas Vole, the former head of the Auror Office of the British Ministry of Magic and the current Director of the Floo Network Office.”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s words, Lucius was momentarily taken aback. Having witnessed Thomas Vole and Gilderoy Lockhart joining forces to repel the Alliance in Diagon Alley, Lucius had suspected some complexity in the situation.

However, he assumed Lockhart was the instigator, never imagining that an official of the British Ministry of Magic, Thomas, was also involved with the Alliance.

Without giving Lucius time to process this revelation, Wentworth continued, “Our visit is indeed related to Miss Cassandra’s father.”

In response, Lucius, maintaining his composure, declared with sincerity, “If there’s anything you require from me or our Malfoy family, do not hesitate to ask.”

Appreciating Lucius’s straightforwardness, Wentworth added, “Mr. Vole, a hero who bravely defended against our Alliance, safeguarded Gringotts, and upheld the honor of the British Ministry of Magic, is now merely a director of the Floo Network office. Even we find it regrettable for a man of such caliber to rot in that place.”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s request, Lucius, though amused, maintained a facade of deep approval. He responded, “Certainly, I share the Alliance’s perspective on this matter! I also believe that Mr. Vole was put under the heavy burden of doing menial tasks by the Ministry of Magic! They are under utilizing him which in turn would lower his quality as a man. If I may ask Mr. Grindelwald, I’m curious, where do you aspire to put Mr. Vole within the Ministry of Magic?”

Wentworth, directing his gaze at Cassandra, watched as she responded with a blank expression, “Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.”

Lucius, caught off guard by Cassandra’s answer, was visibly taken aback and nearly choked on his own saliva.

Seeing how his husband was struggling after hearing their demands, Narcissa hurriedly aided him by gently patting Lucius on the back and asking, “Are you fine, dear?” She looked toward Wentworth, who was staring at them with a blank expression, “I am sorry for my husband, he got quite a weak heart, you see.”

“It’s fine, Mrs. Malfoy; if I were in Mr. Malfoy’s place, I would be surprised as well. But we are doing this for the sake of the wizarding world’s future. Without taking a chance like this, I believe we would find it hard to strive forward.” The edge of Wentworth’s lips slowly raised as he replied toward Narcissa.

Initially assuming Thomas’ ambitions within the Ministry were related to the Floo Network Office, Lucius was clearly surprised by the unexpected revelation.

Recognizing the challenge that lay ahead, Lucius, even with substantial influence, acknowledged the limitations in securing a position as crucial as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement with just his connections.

Apologizing with sincerity, Lucius admitted, “I’m sorry; it’s not that I lack the will to assist, but the reality is that I can’t achieve it. The current head of the Magical Law Enforcement Department is Barty Crouch—a formidable and ambitious individual. Even ousting him would be an arduous task for the Malfoy family.”

Feeling the slap on his back and another nudge on his foot, Lucius looked at Narcissa, who was staring at him with wide eyes. “Dear, stop short selling yourself! You can definitely do those, especially with the help of the Alliance.”

Undeterred by this response, Wentworth demonstrated his preparedness for such obstacles, understanding that the challenge ahead required more than just the influence of the Malfoy family.

Wentworth fixed his gaze on Lucius and delivered each word deliberately, “Mr. Lucius, I have news that could make bringing down Barty Crouch a relatively easy task. You might even consider sending him directly to Azkaban.”

The mention of Azkaban sent shivers down Lucius’s spine, prompting him to inquire, “What news are you referring to nervously?”

Wentworth smiled, elucidating, “Do you recall your former associate, Barty Crouch Jr.?”

Lucius, taken aback, stood up abruptly, his nervousness evident as he stammered, “No, no! I don’t know Barty Crouch Jr., and we’re not associates! He’s a Death Eater, and I… I was under the Death Eater’s Imperius Curse. I wasn’t…”

Before Lucius could finish his sentence, Wentworth waved his hand dismissively, stating, “Okay, Mr. Lucius, I’m not interested in your past. Whether you were a genuine Death Eater has no bearing on our Alliance. There’s no need for you to be so nervous.”

Lucius, visibly relieved, sank back into his seat. “Thank you, Mr. Grindelwald. I truly appreciate it.”

However, Wentworth’s evil smile reappeared as he provocatively asked, “Do you know where Barty Crouch Jr. is now?”

Lucius, still apprehensive, replied, “Certainly, in Azkaban!”

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Published On: April 4, 2024

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